Coach Speak: John Levorson

Going into summer camp, one thing was for sure about John Levorson and that was that he was a baller. In the truest sense of the word, Levorson played the game hard. At Crete (Nebr.), Levorson made his mark as a quarterback, but Coach Chuck McGinnis says that with a little time for Levorson in the weight room and concentrating on one sport will help him transition to playing defense.

Coaches love players like John Levorson. Coach Chuck McGinnis knew that the chance that the play that he called increased dramatically with a player like Levorson getting his hands on it.

"He made my job easy," Coach McGinnis said. "I know that my play calling the last few years was better than what it's going to be next year, I am sure.

"He's pretty special to have this level in Class B. He just did some phenomenal things. The thing about John that people besides maybe the staff don't know is that he competes. He's such a competitor.

"You watch him in track or basketball or wherever and he really competes and plays hard. He really wants to go out there and do a good job and win."

Levorson, a 6-foot-3 and 190-pound athlete with 4.5 speed, has the competitive drive that you find in the best players. Coach McGinnis also found out that Levorson will do what he is told even if it means he is the center of the play or if his teammate is.

"The first thing is definitely the way that he competes. He does what it takes to win. What I found out this year was that he was an unselfish player and he just wants to do what's best for the team.

"There were some times that he only carried the ball seven or eight times a game. If I asked him to throw it 35 times, he would throw it. If I told him to run it 35 times, he would run it. He's an exceptional player and he's an exceptional athlete to go along with that."

As a prep player, Levorson has been able to take advantage of the size that he has now and his speed. At this division one level Levorson is going to have to put on some weight, but Coach McGinnis thinks that will come and the he will have to work on technique.

"I think that the biggest thing is that he has to get back in the weight room. We ask him to do so many things for us here at Crete; he plays basketball, he plays football, he runs track and does the bison thing in the summer.

"I think that the biggest thing for him is to just get in the weight room and get bigger. He's got the frame to carry 210 or 220 real easy. Right now he's a little tall and lanky. That's the biggest thing.

"The other thing that I think he needs to sharpen up on is his tackling. He's a big hitter. He likes to make the big hit. He needs to work on tackling and put on weight.

"Some of those guys in the Big 12 that he is going to be facing will require that he shores that up a little bit. That is tough competition with the best athletes."

Coach McGinnis has heard that the Nebraska coaches are looking at Levorson to start out at one position on defense. However, his thoughts are that Levorson could potentially move down after he works in the weight room and gains some weight.

"From what they have been telling me it will be on defense and starting him out at safety. He could grow into an outside linebacker. Once he focuses on one sport, he will be an impressive looking kid in two years.

"He has the frame. He is a hard worker. Two years from now, look out. He's going to be 215 or 220 and looking good. He will be solid."

This past year, Tom Osborne returned to Nebraska as the "interim" athletic director. Levorson is from the state, but still got a visit from Coach Osborne. Coach McGinnis says that the visit was impressive, but regardless of whom the head coach was in Lincoln that John was destined to be a Husker.

"Coach Osborne is an icon in the state and he made the home visit to John. I really think that shored up John's commitment again to Nebraska, but John was really committed to the university regardless of the staff.

"John is an exceptional student and that was where he wanted to go to school and I think that was probably the bottom line. Lincoln was the place where he wanted to go regardless of the staff. Osborne did have an effect on him. He was very impressed when Coach Osborne came down and that influenced him a little bit."

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